NCAA Football '09 from EA Sports marks my sixth year playing this game. Over the weekend, I matched the OSU Buckeyes against the USC Trojans three times - twice on my PS3 and once on my Wii. More on that later.
How can anyone not love Coach Jim Tressel?
His 2002 Buckeyes won a national championship, and he absolutely owns Michigan. True, Tressel's teams came up short in the past two National Championship Games, but in anticipation of the USC game on Sept. 13, let's forget what was and concentrate on what can be.
Which is the perfect gadget segue to NCAA Football '09 from EA Sports ($60 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions; $50 for the "All-Play" version for Wii; $40 for the PS2 and PSP versions).
The '09 version marks my sixth year playing this game. Over the weekend, I matched the OSU Buckeyes against the USC Trojans three times - twice on my PS3 and once on my Wii. More on that later.
The PS3 and Wii versions of NCAA Football '09 are like distant cousins of one another. You could almost believe the fluid animation of players in the PS3 version was live action; the Wii game, on the other hand, has graphics that resemble those from a PS2 version four or five years ago.
The Wii version is infinitely easier to play, and can be as simple as shaking the Wii remote to hike, throw, catch and run. It's more about gameplay and less about strategy. Two fun features are the celebrations after a score and the "Battle of the Mascots" mode.
The PS3 version is for more serious sports gamers. You control all of the offensive and defensive play-calling and action. Virtually every aspect of the real game is built into the video game. You can play against the computer or up to 11 other players online.
Home-field advantage is a bigger factor this year. New features let you "ice" a kicker and rattle a quarterback. In addition to the mascots game mode, the PS3 version features new mini games like HORSE (kicking field goals) and a special-teams challenge.
As I mentioned, I matched OSU against USC three times. Sadly, USC dominated all three. On the PS3, Tressel's boys lost 42-14 (victim of five interceptions) and 28-7 (again with five interceptions). OSU fared a bit better on the Wii, losing 15-0 (three interceptions this time).
Tressel, when are you going to win the big non-conference games? According to NCAA Football '09, it won't happen any time soon.
Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail email@example.com